Tanglewood Wraps Up Classical Season; Shanghai String Quartet at Music Mountain
This week, Tanglewood concludes its 2017 classical programming, culminating with the always-anticipated traditional final concert, on Sunday, Aug. 27, featuring Beethoven's glorious and triumphant Ninth Symphony, preceded by Charles Ives' "The Housatonic at Stockbridge," from his three-movement orchestral suite, ‘Three Places in New England' – a magical, transformative and inspiring hymn to nature.
Before the Ninth, and the "Popular Artists Series," there are three exceptional programs you should consider attending in Ozawa Hall and in the Shed this week.
Following the Ninth, there's the concluding week of popular artist programming at Tanglewood, featuring, as always, diverse performers: the Boston Pops with Melissa Etheridge, Sting, pop/soul diva Diana Ross, Pete Townshend, and the Avett Brothers. For complete information about the popular artists series and special ticket pricing, visit online at tanglewood.org or call 888-266-1200.
Tickets can also be purchased via SymphonyCharge, 888-266-1200 and at the Tanglewood box office located at the main gate, on West Street in Lenox. Music lovers can also follow Tanglewood via its new social media accounts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TanglewoodMusicFestival, on Twitter @TanglewoodMA, and on Instagram @TanglewoodMusicFestival. The Boston Symphony is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bostonsymphony, on Twitter @bostonsymphony, and on Instagram @bostonsymphony. The Boston Pops is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thebostonpops, on Twitter@thebostonpops, and on Instagram @thebostonpops.
Here's a listing of both current and upcoming performances, at several venues, which will bring the summer classical music "high season" to a close:
• Wednesday, August 23, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: "Schubert's Summer Journey," program six: The magnificent pianist Emanuel Ax opens the sixth and final concert in the "Schubert's Summer Journey" series with Schubert's four "Impromptus," D. 935 — rhapsodic, lyrical pieces whose emotional impact far outstrip their relatively brief duration. The program also includes contemporary American composer Samuel Adams' "Impromptu (after Schubert)," to be performed between Schubert's second and third Impromptus. Baritone Simon Keenlyside joins Emanuel Ax to close out the program with excerpts from Schubert's final song cycle "Schwanengesang," ("Swan song"), D. 957 published posthumously as a collection, along with other late lieder (songs).
• Friday, August 25, 8 p.m. in the Shed: Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops in a live performance of John Williams' score to "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" — one of the BSO's Films in Concert series — a best picture Oscar nominee and one of the most popular films of all time. Boston Pops performances of movie scores are becoming a popular tradition. This marks the second such presentation this summer at Tanglewood, following the Pops' live performance of "Jaws" — another Williams/Spielberg collaboration — on June 18.
• Saturday, August 26, 8 p.m. in the Shed: The acclaimed Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais and bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel join BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus for an evening of opera and song. To open the program, Maestro Nelsons leads the BSO in the complete Act II of Puccini's "Tosca," featuring soprano Opolais in the title role, tenor Russell Thomas as Cavaradossi, bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel as Scarpia, tenor Matthew DiBattista as Spoletta, and baritone Douglas Williams as Sciarrone, in his BSO debut. Also on the program are operatic selections by composers Richard Wagner ("Tannhäuser" and "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg"); Antonin Dvorak ("Rusalka") and George Gershwin ("Porgy and Bess").
• Sunday, August 27, 2:30 p.m. in the Shed: BSO maestro Andris Nelsons will lead the orchestra in its traditional celebratory season-ending performance of Beethoven's transcendent Ninth Symphony. The performance features soprano Katie Van Kooten in her BSO and Tanglewood debuts; mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford; tenor Russell Thomas and bass-baritone John Relyea, along with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Maestro Nelsons and the BSO open the program with Charles Ives' tribute to Western Massachusetts, "The Housatonic at Stockbridge," from his popular orchestral triptych "Three Places in New England."
For all that, the upcoming concerts at Music Mountain in Falls Village, Conn., and at Tannery Pond, in New Lebanon, N.Y., are also worth considering.
• Sunday, August 27, 3 p.m.: Music Mountain presents the Daedalus String Quartet with guest artist pianist Tanya Bannister, offering a classic program of Beethoven and Brahms. Beethoven: String Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1 and String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 95 "Serioso"; Brahms: Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34.
• Saturday, September 2, 6:30 p.m.: The Shanghai String Quartet performs Mendelssohn: String Quartet in E Flat Major, Op. 12; Yi-Wen Jiang: Selections from "Chinasong," and Brahms: String Quartet in C Minor, Op. 51, No. 1. The Quartet's most popular disc, "Chinasong," is a collection of Chinese folk songs arranged by Violinist Yi-Wen Jiang reflecting on his childhood memories of the Cultural Revolution in China.
• Sunday, September 3, 6:30 p.m.: Music Mountain's Labor Day benefit concert and reception features the Shanghai String Quartet, who are joined by guest artist pianist Qing Jian; they will present a special concert featuring two Beethoven quartets: String Quartet in B Flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6 and String Quartet in E Minor, Opus 59, No. 2. The program concludes with the Brahms Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25.
Music Mountain is located at 225 Music Mountain Road, Falls Village, Conn., off Route 7, where a short scenic drive will bring you to Gordon Hall atop Music Mountain. Free parking and picnic facilities are available.
Tickets are $35 at the door/$30 in advance. Children ages 5-18 are admitted free when accompanied by a ticket holder. For the series' complete concert schedule, special ticket prices, and to download a ticket order form visit www.musicmountain.org or call 860-824-7126.
Specially priced concerts: Tickets for the Labor Day benefit concert and reception, Sunday, Sept. 3, at 3 p.m., with the Shanghai String Quartet and guest artist pianist Qing Jiang are $75. Tickets for the closing concert on Sunday, September 1, at 3 p.m. presenting The Juilliard String Quartet, are $60.
Concerts at Tannery Pond
Tannery Pond – that pristine series in stunningly beautiful New Lebanon, N.Y., bordering Pittsfield on Route 20, will be presenting its final two chamber music concerts of the season. As always, this exemplary venue showcases amazing talent performing both classic and 20 century music in a gorgeous and historic setting.
• Saturday, September 9, 8 p.m.: Violinist Axel Strauss, clarinetist Todd Palmer and pianist Ilya Poletaev will perform works by Copland: Sonata for violin and piano; Samuel Barber: selections from "Hermit Songs," and Stravinsky: "L'Histoire du Soldat."
• Saturday, September 23, 6 p.m. (note the early hour): Pianist Inna Farsova and violinist Aleksey Semenenko will present a duo-recital featuring the works of Grieg: Sonata in F Major, Op. 8, No.1; Schubert: Fantasie in C Major, D. 934 (solo piano); Tchaikovsky: Scherzo, Op. 42, and Wieniawski: Phantasie, Op. 20, for violin and piano.
Driving directions: Tannery Pond is located on the grounds of Mount Lebanon Shaker Village and Darrow School, New Lebanon, New York, one and a half miles east of the town center on Route 20.
South Mountain Concerts
South Mountain Concerts, located on Routes 7 and 20 (South Street) in Pittsfield, approximately two miles south of Park Square at the center of the downtown area, presents many of the world's leading chamber music ensembles and soloists, with performances this fall by longtime favorite ensembles: the Kalichstein, Laredo, Robinson Trio (September 3); the Orion String Quartet with flutist Tara Helen O'Conner (September 10); the Calidore String Quartet (September 17); the Dover String Quartet with pianist Peter Serkin (September 24) and the Emerson String Quartet (October 1). All five concerts are Sundays at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $40, except for 9/17 ($35). Students with IDs: $15 at the door. Call 413-442-2106 or online at southmountainconcerts.org. Visit the website for specific concert repertory.
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